Sterling Law was recently instructed by a Ukraine national in an appeal case. The client was granted a residence card when she married a Lithuanian national in 2012. This residence card expired on 7 March 2018. Unfortunately, the couple separated and divorce proceedings were initiated on 10 October 2017 but it is unsure whether the marriage has been fully terminated. The client made an application for a new residence card on 11t September 2017 on the same grounds but this application was refused due to a number of reasons alleged by the Secretary of State namely; the marriage was allegedly one of convenience, the client’s husband had a number of financial links and the passport submitted by the client’s husband in her application was not valid.
The Judge noted the fact that Secretary of State failed to adduce evidence on the assertion that the client’s marriage was one of “convenience”. Besides that, the Secretary of State also claimed that the passport submitted by the client’s husband in the application for a residence card was invalid. This is because the Lithuanian passport had allegedly been reported “lost or stolen”. The quick thinking lawyers at Sterling Law sought to get a letter from the client’s husband to be adduced as evidence. This letter was necessary to confirm that his passport was submitted with the application and was not reported lost or stolen. The Judge considered this letter credible. The Judge further noted that the Secretary of State failed to produce evidence to prove that the Lithuanian passport in question was ever reported lost or stolen by the client’s husband. On the other hand, with regards to the assertion that the client’s husband is involved in economic activity, the Judge found that this assertion has “no bearing whatsoever on the question whether his marriage” to the client was one of convenience. As a result of the lack of relevance of this issue the Judge did not take this point into consideration when making the decision.
In the appeal hearing, the Judge was impressed by the preparation of the case. The Judge particularly complimented the witness statement and appeal bundle prepared by the experienced lawyers at Sterling Law. In addition, the Judge was also impressed by the “professionalism and candour” of the Counsel instructed by Sterling Law.
The Judge concluded that
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